Wednesday, June 17, 2009
June 15--Phil's World June 16--Gallup NM
I will just say, Phil knows what I'm talking about. The county fair was all but wrapped up for the year as Eric and I pulled into the parking lot. We camped here for the night with the intentions of a night ride, but we were both too tired. Instead, we got up early to see what Phil's World had to offer. Whoever (Phil?) put this together made creative wood signage throughout the track. My favorites were Lotsa Pasta AVE, Hang bone (which actually had a hanging bone), stinky's rib cage . . . well I had a lot of favorites and was entertained throughout. There was some really cool chutes and ladders style sections, which required very little effort and were super fun! Combining all possible loops was a little over 20 miles. Even though we were pretty tired, it was early in the day, so we continued on to Gallup (Gid-E-Up) NM. We swung through 4 corners for our tourist trap adventure of the week. Seriously, don't go there unless you feel a strong desire to hand over $3/pp and go look at a plaque on the ground with 20 other idiots and 5 minutes later leave after having taken a 40 mile detour in a motorhome that gets, say, 9 mpg. Yeah, big rip. In Gallup, we drove around in circles for awhile trying to find water. As it turns out, our navigation system had the address wrong (switched a little E for a W, big difference). We tried to find a bike shop, which was also futile because the only one closed earlier this year. We spent another $80 on groceries. I guess we eat a lot more on the road and when riding in excess. I am starting to wonder if we can afford this trip. HA!
In the AM, June 16, we hit the high desert trail system. It started out looking like a dud, but quickly got much better. There were at least 3 loops that could be taken in either direction although it looked like someone had tried to mark the preferred route on the trail. There were some really sweet rocks along the way and some animal figurines that sometimes looked a little too real. I asked Eric, "Did you see the fox?" He got off his bike and started sneaking back towards me so I asked, "you realize its not a real fox, right?" Eric laughed and said that no, he did think it was real. When we got back to the MH, we BBQed ribs in the parking lot and headed into town in search of internet. Gallup seems like it has been hit hard by the recession. For all the trails we rode near town that were clearly well maintained (in fact its already 2010 and the trails still look great), we were startled to learn there was not a functioning bike shop. Many folks were pulling out and moving to larger cities. The people at the visitors center and chamber of commerce helped us figure out a plan for the remainder of our stay in Gallup. We drove East on 40 to highway 400. We pulled off at the Quaking Aspen trailhead and rode a nearly invisible single track (Purple Haze) through a cow pasture and up around the Nat. Forest. It was enough for the day (over 30 miles!) so we went for a motorcylce ride into McGaffrey. We thought there was an extensive trail system out this direction based on what we had learned in town, but we didn't see any clear maps or trailheads. We did see a little single track coming out of the forest and a 1.25 mile trail out of a campground that convinced us to try some exploring in the morning. Happy and tired, we took showers and hit the hay!